It’s the day before Thanksgiving and you’re back in your old house, sleeping in your old room and getting together to catch up with old friends. When you’re sitting in the livingroom or basement or family room with your girls reminiscing over a glass or two, the key question is: What are you gonna drink? Below, a few Thanksgiving drink suggestions:
• If you’ve already had at least one “starter” plate of food as the official taster or you know it’s about to go down at the dinner table. Ginger is a natural tummy soother so drinking a cocktail that contains the herb just makes sense when you’re anticipating some abdominal issues. At least that’s what I told my doctor not too long ago. Full disclosure: He didn’t agree but hey, just about any drink containing ginger is a winner for me.
Ginger beer is the quickest and easiest way to incorporate ginger into a drink. It allows you to add a refreshing spice note along with a bite of heat straight out of the bottle.
This is one of my go-to cocktails. It’s basic but refreshing and because nearly impossible to ruin. In fact, whenever I’m at an unfamiliar bar and not sure of the skill level of the bartender, I always ask if they have ginger beer. If they do, a mule is always my request, whether it’s on the menu or not.
2 oz vodka. (No need for fancy, I like Stoli or Russian Standard for this drink)
½ ounce fresh lime juice
4-6 oz cold ginger beer (Q Drinks makes a fine one, that’s not overly sweet, as does Fever-Tree, but Gosling’s, Reed’s or another brand will do in a pinch
Add the lime to a Collins glass, or a special copper Moscow Mule mug if you have it. Throw in a few ice cubes and then the vodka. Top with the ginger beer.
Dark and Stormy
Another simple cocktail that anyone can make, this one is for that friend who’s still stuck on ordering rum and Cokes.
2 oz dark rum (Gosling’s Black Seal is traditional but any dark rum made for mixing—meaning not that bottle of good sipping rum your dad’s been keeping—will do)
4 oz ginger beer (again, Gosling’s ginger beer is traditional)
Combine the ingredients in a tall glass filled with ice cubes. Stir.
Mixology legend Audrey Saunders created this riff on the Moscow Mule as the signature drink at her Pegu Club in New York City
1 ½ oz Tanqueray gin
¾ oz lime juice
1 oz simple syrup (or1 teaspoon superfine granulated sugar)
8-10 mint leaves, chopped
2 oz ginger beer
Muddle the lime juice, simple syrup, or sugar, add mint leaves together in the bottom of a mixing glass or shaker. Add ginger beer and gin and shake well. Pour into a highball glass filled with ice. Top with more ginger beer and garnish with a sprig of mint.
• If apple is your choice for seasonal flavor, warm up with a glass of Crown Royal’s latest expression, Crown Royal Regal Apple whisky. Created by infusing their whiskies with regal Gala apples, the result is a smooth pour with very pronounced apple notes on the nose and sugary, candied apple flavor. It might be perfect for the new-to-brown spirits drinker who doesn’t like their whisky to taste too much like whisky. Best served over ice as a shot, or with a little tart cranberry juice to cut the sweetness. Bonus, the green, velvet bag the bottle comes in is a nice change from the signature Crown Royal purple bag everyone has somewhere in their house.
Stillhouse Moonshine Whiskey, a silver medalist at the 2011 San Francisco World Spirits competition, have relaunched their small batch whiskey brand and added four new, infused flavors to their line. The Apple Crisp works well over ice or with a splash of ginger ale or ginger beer.
• If you think turkey and gravy and sides are aight, but the dessert is what Thanksgiving is all about. Pinnacle, the vodka brand behind so many of the most creative flavored vodkas, has created a couple of holiday-themed cocktails just for you.
1 part Pinnacle Pumpkin Pie Vodka
1 part DeKuyper Crème DeCocoa Dark
1 part Half and Half
Combine ingredient and serve in a mug. Garnish with whipped cream.
Sweater Weather Swirl
1 part Pinnacle Cinnabon Vodka
1 part Coffee
Serve hot or cold in a mug. Garnish with whipped cream and cinnamon.
So, what are you pouring this Thanksgiving weekend? Let us know in the comments.